2013 FAQ Page

Bridge Run FAQ Page

How do I participate in this year’s Bridge Run?

The 2013 Bridge Run lottery closed on May 31. If you would like to be notified when the lottery for the 2014 Bridge Run opens, please send an email to marketingevents [at] michiganfitness dot org.

Where and when can I check-in?

There are two options for check-in:

1) Sunday, September 1, 2013 at 5:15 p.m. at Little Bear East Arena in St. Ignace (“A” on the map). Doors will remain locked at the Arena until 5:15 p.m.


2) Monday, September 2, 2013, from 5:00-5:30 a.m. the morning of the run at the Recreation Center, Mackinaw City (“A” on the map).

What will I receive at the check-in?

You will receive a 2013 Bridge Run t-shirt and identification bracelet. Both items MUST be worn to participate in the event. A valid ID is also required to check-in.

Where is the Pasta Dinner?

The Pasta Dinner will be at Little Bear East Arena and Community Center in St. Ignace.

Why is the Dinner in St. Ignace?

By having the Pasta Dinner in St. Ignace we hope to encourage Bridge Runners to enjoy the City of St. Ignace and share in the economic boost that events around the Mackinac Bridge provide on Labor Day weekend. Visit www.saintignace.org for more information on what the city has to offer!

Can I bring family/friends to the Pasta Dinner on Sunday?

Yes – additional tickets are available for purchase at $12/adult and $8/child (ages 4-10). Please order additional tickets for guests and family members using the response form you will receive in the mail.

How do I get to the Bridge for the run?

Transportation to the start line will be provided by privately reserved buses.

ONLY runners and designated volunteers will be allowed on the reserved buses.

  • Boarding begins at 5:00 a.m. at the Recreation Center in Mackinaw City (“A” on  the map)
  • Buses will leave promptly at 5:30 a.m.

If extenuating circumstances prevent you from riding the bus, please arrive at the start line holding area in St. Ignace no later than 6:15 a.m.

  • The run begins in St. Ignace, at the north end of the Mackinac Bridge in the UPPER PENINSULA.
  • The run ends in Mackinaw City at the south end in the LOWER PENINSULA.

If I have a question during the run, who should I contact?

Run volunteers will be wearing WHITE shirts and can answer your questions.

Can I bring a camera?

Absolutely! Please attach the camera to your body in some manner to avoid creating a safety hazard. You may NOT stop on the bridge to take photos.

Can I wear an iPod, or headset while running?

No. These items are a safety hazard, as you will need to be able to hear other runners, run officials, or vehicles that may be approaching behind you on the bridge.

Can I bring a water bottle on the run?

Yes. There will be no rest or water stops along the bridge course. For safety reasons, nothing may be discarded during the run.

What should I wear?

You are required to wear your Bridge Run t-shirt and ID bracelet – but because of cold morning temperatures and the windy conditions that frequently exist in the Straits of Mackinac, you may wish to layer with warm clothing. You are welcome to bring a bag in which to store extra clothing before the run begins. Plastic bags for this use will also be available at check-in.

Bags will be transported to the finish line (a location near Audie’s Restaurant) for pick up after the run. Unclaimed bags will be discarded.

Where should I go once I complete the run?

The race will end on the expressway in front of Audie’s Restaurant (“B” on map). Water and light snacks will be provided at the finish line. We ask that all runners wait near the finish line to cheer on the other participants as they complete their run. Group pictures may be taken at that time as well, and will be made available online.

Once finished, runners may walk to their cars at the Mackinaw City Recreation Center or take a bus (pick up at 8:30-9:00 a.m.) at the Rec Center to travel back to St. Ignace.

**More FAQs will be posted as questions arise.

50 responses to “2013 FAQ Page

  1. Is there somewhere at the finish line where spouses/friends can wait to get pictures of us as we finish? Can they also snap pictures of the group photos that will be taken? Or is that a completely seperated area that only runners can be at?

    • There is a short fence directly next to the finish line where your supporters can gather and take photos. The finish line area is for runners only. All event photos, including the group photos, will be made available online after the Run. Access to these professional photos is included in your registration fee, meaning there is no additional cost. You could also potentially ask a fellow runner or volunteer (in gray shirts) to take a picture using your camera.

      Sarah Siewert
      Marketing and Events Coordinator

  2. I am a slow runner. Is there a time cut off? I have never done this before!

    • Hi Jackie,

      The hope is that everyone can run at least a 12-minute mile to make it across the Bridge before the walkers catch up. But, not to worry, we will have designated volunteers who can help pace you through the run if needed. We have had concerns similar to yours in the past, and everyone has done just fine and really enjoyed the experience.

      Sarah Siewert
      Marketing and Events Coordinator
      Michigan Fitness Foundation

      • I’m glad you addressed this question. I’ve been so excited @ being able to run over the bridge but am concernced because a muscle injury is slowing me down a bit lately. I think I’ll be fine on race day, but this is my first running type injury, and it’s not fun. My running group leader says, rest is the best – but that’s hard to do!

  3. Hi – i have never done this race before but was accepted this time! Do you know if there are ferries that leave early enough from Mackinac Island for the run? How would i get to st. ignace from mackinac island for the run? thanks!

    • Hi Angel,

      Congrats on being selected! Unfortunately, there are not ferries that leave early enough from Mackinac Island. The earliest boat from the Island leaves at 8 a.m., but Bridge runners are meeting in Mackinaw City at 5 a.m. for the bus to the start line in St. Ignace.

      Sarah Siewert
      Marketing and Events Coordinator
      Michigan Fitness Foundation

  4. Is there a way to pay the fee on-line? I still haven’t gotten my packet and don’t want to miss the deadline.

  5. Is there any way, logistically, that I can do the run then do the walk with my family? Thanks!

    • Hi Holly,

      Yes, you can complete the Run and then head back to the start line for the Walk. Most Runners finish by 8 a.m., and walkers are permitted to start walking until 11 a.m. There will be public buses leaving from Mackinaw City (finish line area) to St. Ignace (start line area) that morning for $5. We will also have a couple of privately reserved buses for Runners-only that are heading back to St. Ignace for no charge leaving at 8:30 a.m. from the Mackinaw City Recreation Center (same spot all Runners meet in the morning).

      Sarah Siewert
      Marketing and Events Coordinator
      Michigan Fitness Foundation

  6. This is my first time running the this event and I want to get in a little bit of hill work before the run. Can you tell me what the angle of elevation is on the bridge so I could set the treadmill to that same angle? Thanks, looking forward to a great event.

    • Hi Mike,

      According to our veteran runners there is an approximate incline of 5% in the middle of the bridge. Several individuals have noted that the incline is very gradual and is not very noticeable but they still recommend including hill climbing in your training program.

      Kellie Kafantaris
      Marketing and Events Intern
      Michigan Fitness Foundation

  7. What all do I need to check-in? Just a photo ID?

    • Hi Nancy,

      You are correct! All you need to check-in is a photo ID.

      See you at the Bridge!

      Kellie Kafantaris
      Marketing and Events Intern
      Michigan Fitness Foundation

  8. Hi! I know that the run is non-competative. Is the race timed? If so, will official times be posted anywhere? thanks! Angel

    • Hi Angel,

      Unfortunately the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Run is not a timed event so official times will not be recorded.

      See you at The Bridge,

      Kellie Kafantaris
      Marketing and Events Intern
      Michigan Fitness Foundation

  9. We found better hotel prices in St. Ignace. Is there a problem with just being at the starting line at 6:15 am? Or is that only for extenuating circumstances? It looks like it wouldn’t be a problem to get a ride back to St. Ignace afterward. And if we could avoid having to drive to Mackinaw City by 5 am just to ride back to St. Ignace that would be ideal.

  10. Hi! I’m so glad you have decided to stay in St. Ignace! It is important to us that we share the economic boost that festivities around the Bridge provide with St. Ignace as well as Mackinaw City. There are many great places to stay in St. Ignace.
    There will be some parking available near the start line in St. Ignace, but it will be limited. We do encourage runners to park their cars at the Recreation Center in Mackinaw City and take the buses to the start line. This is because for those who will be heading down state after the run it will be much easier to have their cars at the finish. However, if you plan to spend additional time in St. Ignace after the run (or if you live in the Upper Peninsula), it would be wise to keep your car near the start area. Two buses will be available after the run at the Mackinaw City Recreation Center at 8:30 a.m. to transport runners back to St. Ignace.
    Runners MUST be in the start line area by 6:15 a.m. Maps of the start line and finish line area will be provided in runner packets.


    Gretchen Mensing,
    Public Relations and Development Manager
    Michigan Fitness Foundation

  11. Can you tell me the official distance of the run?

    • Hi Stacey,
      The distance of the run is approximately 5 miles. See you then!

      Katie Heck
      Marketing and Events Intern
      Michigan Fitness Foundation

  12. Is Governor Snyder a runner or a walker ? Will he be greeting the runners at the start of the run, or will he be at the end of the run for pictures as previous years ?

    For those asking about the incline of the bridge, don’t worry it is not a factor. Just enjoy the run (not a race) enjoy the hour. You are one of less than 5,000 people to ever have run over the bridge in the past 10 years. Priceless. Compare that to more than 20 million crowded people who have walked across it in 54 years.

    • Governor Snyder will be sending runners off at the start line this year. He will also be participating in the walk.

      Thanks for your tip!

  13. Hello, looking for some suggestions.
    I will be doing the Bridge run and my wife would like to do the walk. Is it better to stay in Mackinaw City of St. Ignace, my main concern is how long my wife would have to wait and transportion available. Obviously this is our first time here during the holiday weekend, my main fear is the gridlock in the small cities. Any hotel recommendations would be appreciated.

    • Hi Dave,

      We like to recommend St. Ignace so that we may help share the economic boost in the area that happens over Labor Day weekend. However, it would depend on what your plans are for after the walk. If you are planning on heading “down state” immediately after you complete the walk, we would recommend staying in Mackinaw City. Hope this helps!

  14. Are the chip times posted somewhere? I was just curious what mine was and I couldn’t find a link.

  15. Does anyone know approx. how many people enter the lottery to do the bridge run? I was just curious the odds of being selected. (I was selected the fist time this year)

    • Hi Laura,

      We receive about 1,000 entries for the Bridge Run lottery each year. Congrats on being selected this year!

      Michigan Fitness Foundation Staff

  16. Are there any rules about listening to music without headphones or earbuds?

    • Hi Shannon,

      For safety reasons, we can’t allow runners to wear headphones. If you have a way to safely play music without headphones, feel free. Remember, we suggest that runners secure their camera/phone to their person to prevent them from being dropped.

  17. Leigh Ann Jewell

    Hello, can you tell us what color the t-shirts are this year? Thanks!

  18. Can someone tell me where I would find the “pictures” from the run? I saw in the paper work that they were to be posted online for view and purchase. But I can not locate a link.

  19. I have some friends coming but am unsure if they are attending the pasta dinner or not at this time. Will it be possible to get tickets at the dinner or do they have to be purchased in advance?

    • Chelsea,

      Your friends will be able to purchase tickets at the door if they decide to come last minute. The pricing is the same. Hope this helps!

  20. I am really excited about running the Bridge on Labor Day – First Time and new to running over the last year or so. Just a few follow up questions…..I understand we need to be at the starting line at 6:15am in St. Ignace. What time does the run start? And to confirm, I can bring my IPhone and attach it to my arm but no headphones, correct?

    • Michelle Emily

      Congrats Carl on being drawn to run the bridge as well as welcome to the running community. Last year, as a first year runner, I too was selected. It’s an amazing experience. I did wear my iPhone with plugs, but only one side. I will be doing the same this year. (I know it’s frowned upon, but I’m “one of those people” that finds it difficult to run with out music. One small word of advice that no one shared with me, but I will be working on it more this year as I was drawn again, train yourself for the incline of the bridge. I think it’s 5%. But man, my first year it felt like Mt Everest! Good luck and see ya at the finish line!!

    • Carl,

      Glad to hear you are excited-you should be! You are very lucky to be have chosen in your first year of running. I promise you it will be an awesome experience. Yes, you must be at the starting line no later than 6:15am. The run starts at 6:45am. In regards to your iPhone please do not bring it on the run. We encourage runners to leave important personal belongings at your hotel or with family or friends spectating the run. Bringing jackets or other warm-up gear, however, is highly recommended because it will likely be very cold in the morning. There will be a designated spot to leave such items at before the run and they will be transported to the finish line for you to pick up there.

  21. Thank you!

  22. Thanks Michelle for the advice on training for the incline of the bridge…..I was concerned about that. The month of August is where I will kick up my training and continue to prepare for this awesome experience!
    See you at the Bridge!!

  23. Hi and thank you for this opportunity! We will be staying in Hessel before the bridge run then driving downstate right after. Can I meet the runners in St. Ignace or do I need to take a bus from Mackinaw City? My family doesn’t want to leave as early as I will need to be at the starting line, so will they be able to drive across the bridge just before the run starts?

    • April,

      Thank you for reaching out to us. You certainly will be able to meet the runners in St. Ignace. There is limited parking near the starting line. You must arrive to the starting line no later than 6:15 a.m. However, we encourage runners to park their cars at the Recreation Center in Mackinaw City and take the buses to the start line. This is because for those who will be heading down state after the run it will be much easier to have their cars at the finish. However, if you plan to spend additional time in St. Ignace after the run (or if you live in the Upper Peninsula), it would be wise to keep your car near the start area. Two buses will be available after the run at the Mackinaw City Recreation Center at 8:30 a.m. to transport runners back to St. Ignace. If your family wants to arrive later, they can without any problem. The northbound side of the bridge is closed, but the southbound side is open to cars traveling in both directions. We hope this helps!

  24. i am going to have my dog up there with me, is there a way i can have her run with me across the bridge or will i have to leave her in the car?

    • Hello Rachel,

      Unfortunately due to safety reasons, we can not allow participants to bring animals to run with during the Bridge Run. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

  25. Any buses running to the start line from St Ignace morning if bridge run from the little bear arena?

  26. Where do I find pictures that were taken during the run?

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